Business owners seem to be always searching for some “secret ingredient” that will strengthen and grow their business. It is very common to utilize traditional marketing, and advertising means to achieve these goals. However, many business owners overlook the importance and power of appreciation and recognition for their company’s culture.
As part of improving the employee experience, incorporating recognition and appreciation into your business model can significantly strengthen and build your company.
Remember, it’s people – not machines – who create and build your bottom line. No matter how busy you are as a business owner, always leave time for recognizing employees and showing appreciation for actions that align with your company values. Small acts of kindness can have a tremendous impact on the future success of your company.
Below are a few ways that integrate appreciation and recognition into your business:
Employee Recognition Programs
Since your employees are your most valuable asset and resource, employee engagement should be your top priority. Don’t you want to attract top talent that deliver good work even after years of service? Too many business owners forget that job satisfaction indirectly impacts profitability. If you want to have a long-lasting positive impact on employee morale, you’ll need some sort of incentive program.
Start by treating employees like team members, not just subordinates. You’re all in this together, and the work environment should reflect the cooperative nature you want to inspire. Try to cultivate a culture of recognition and support that gets everyone working together to achieve milestones. Maintaining a business is hard work, but proper teamwork can become a positive feedback loop, inspiring everyone to go the extra mile in their tasks.
Keep in mind your team members are autonomous – they have a choice when they come to work. They can dive into their assignments and aim to achieve great work, or they can procrastinate on social media and only do the bare minimum. Believe it or not, you have a direct influence on which choice your team will make. A recognition platform shows your team members that you notice and value their contribution to the company’s vision and goals.
Do not overlook the impact of certain types of recognition. A valuable piece of advice can be found in this quote: “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” Do you want your team members to feel appreciated and motivated to do more, or would you instead them feel unappreciated and lack the motivation to do any more than what is minimally required of them?
There are various forms of recognition that will show your appreciation for your team members. Some employee recognition ideas include appreciation or award dinners, handwritten notes, gift cards, or informal, team-building events outside of the workplace.
Keep in mind you don’t have to establish an entire employee appreciation day for your team members to feel recognized. Often, a sincere “thank you,” or verbal commendation is sufficient. Even something like an afternoon off or early clock out on Friday is always appreciated, and can help improve a team member’s mental well-being.
As you implement employee rewards, you might notice an added benefit: peer-to-peer recognition might become more common with team members encouraging each other. The more you encourage teamwork rather than competing amongst each other, the more often you’ll see your employees shout out each other’s accomplishments on a regular basis.
However, recognition should go beyond performance goals and achievements. Be sure to acknowledge personal traits as well, like loyalty, a positive attitude, etc. Show those you value these traits to inspire your team members to strive for these even more.
Do not forget your main suppliers need to feel appreciated as well. Even a simple “thank you” card can go a long way to strengthening your working relationship. Suppliers who feel appreciated and valued are more willing to go above and beyond for you if the situation requires.
Make sure your clients feel appreciated and recognized. Be sure to tell them how much you value their business. If you do, they will be far more likely to return to you for repeat business and recommend you to others. Some companies even go so far as to give some of their most valued customers a customized plaque recognizing their loyalty and support. Most customers will proudly display these in their home or place of business, providing you with some extra positive exposure to potential new clients.
Third-Party Certifications and Recognition
As consumers are doing more research on companies before doing business with them, third-party certifications are becoming increasingly more critical for companies to have. Well-known certifications or recommendations can help your business stand out from the crowd and give you more validity as an outstanding or exceptional entity.
Business Recognition Award Programs
If your business has reached some new goals or made significant achievements, find a business award program to help you get the word out there. There are awards program databases available online even to help you find the right program. While a nomination from a consumer or other business is excellent, it is also acceptable to self-nominate at times. Even the nomination itself can be as an essential source of recognition and exposure. This boosts your public exposure to new clients, help you stand out from your competitors, and present your company in a positive manner.